I recently had a phone call with someone who had started a podcast (that's the good part) but sadly they had started in the wrong direction with the wrong intentions.
1. They were using Blog Talk Radio because it was free and easy.
2. Their topic was about a professional sports team. Not their favorite team – but one they thought could make money.
3. They had less than 60 downloads per epsiode and contacted me to see how to get sponsors.
Now this person is not stupid. They are uneducated.
I am not the only person who can't listen to any podcast on Blog Talk Radio due to their audio quality is so poor. They also “help” you by submitting your RSS feed to iTunes for you (this is bad)
Podcasting takes some effort and time. If your podcast is not about something you LOVE to talk about, you will lose interest and quit. It's not a matter of if, but when.
I've spoken about different advertising companies that require 20,000 downloads per month (and the fact that you can get by without being that popular), but (depending on your niche) your going to need more than 250 a month.
I'm not saying that its impossible to create revenue from this podcast, but many of these choices that were made make it harder.
If you are starting a podcast with the sole intent on making money fast, don't waste your time and money.
If you are not willing to put $20 a month toward your podcast, don't waste your time and money. Yes you can podcast for free, but it's going to make things harder and make you want to quit.
There are companies like blubrry that provide advertising opportunities that will pay you based on the number of downloads. There are many other ways to benefit from your podcast. I agree with Gary V in his book Crush It! and that is don't look at stats for a year and focus on making great content.